National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

SFSA Thematic Session: Pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is described as the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines and computer systems. It was invented in 1956 and has since become popular generally and in the world of computing, algorithms, data analytics and data storage. AI is important because it can perform frequent, high volume and automated tasks without fatigue. It allows for the processing of big data, and it gives out accurate predictions in shorter time frames than humans are capable of. This then reduces human errors and provides actionable information quicker than manual processes.  

However, some people feel the invention and use of AI is more of a curse than a blessing because it is expensive, there are no firmly established ethical codes and standards yet, there is a limited number of (highly skilled) people who can program the machines, and few people required to operate them, thus creating insufficient employment in the economy, and it may contribute to increased emissions of carbon into the atmosphere due to high energy usage. There is also the long-held fear that robots may someday render humans useless and/or dominate them. These are some of the issues that were discussed and addressed at the previous two events that NSTF held.  



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